QR Codes on Tools / Around the Space

I like it! Just have to think about scaling them to fit on tools that are small, or only have a small flat surface. Below a certain size, the text may not be legible, and printing on a sticker might be crisper than a laser engraved version.

1 Like

Yea I am thinking stickers will be cheaper, easier and more flexible…

I have a printer that does QR codes on transparent stickers (or did print 9 years ago!)

When we proposed this years ago there was strong push-back against non-human-readable signs (“robot vomit”) but I think QR codes have come into their own recently and are widely used

I’m in favour for these reasons:

  • I believe signage should be kept to an absolute minimum and concentrate on safety critical points
  • it’s quick and convenient for users

‘Report an issue’ would also be a good feature to have on a QR too? To make it quick and easy

I’d also have hard of guides copies by major tools for good practice


I have been intending to do this for machines, have you seen the one on the metal lathe?


That’s the idea- but I think it needs more human readable info on it as well- ie. Toolname and induction / no induction needed, not sure what else…

Possible whether it needs PPE. Although I think the more we add, the more bigger it would get and take up more space.

1 Like

I’m in favour of the QR code and a small symbol for induction required and possibly another to indicate the risk profile (the higher the risk, the more important it is to scan the QR code and read the tool page).

I did look for an obvious icon for induction - most are a quite complicated training icon. So perhaps just the word “INDUCTION” below the QR code would be best.

1 Like

@Clix developed a colour code system for the woodshop…that could be an efficient way to indicate hazard/induction levels? Perhaps

1 Like

I’ve worked out some easy automation to generate all the QR codes and then “mail merge” fields to generate the composite images. Happy to document the process going forward.

One task remaining is making sure all the links on the tool page point to the topic ID and not just the “slug” as that changes if the title is changed (e.g. https://discourse.southlondonmakerspace.org/t/spindle-moulder-startrite-t30/should read https://discourse.southlondonmakerspace.org/t/spindle-moulder-startrite-t30/2028)

Is there anyone willing to help out with that?

1 Like

I’m willing to help, what does it entail? I took a brief look at the Discourse API the other day, but I’m not too familiar with the setup of Discourse.

1 Like

Thanks for volunteering! Hopefully no API access is required. Discourse will resolve slugs to canonical URLs when they are clicked and all members should have access to edit the tool index. Do you wanna start from the top and I’ll do a final sweep of the remaining from the bottom? Thanks again!

1 Like

Adding the missing tool model names or numbers would be a nice improvement as well.

1 Like

Ok, updated the links on the tool page!


Thanks Max!

Here’s some browser console code to grab all the tools

child_text = (elem) => [...elem.childNodes].filter(elem => elem.nodeType == Node.TEXT_NODE).map(elem => elem.textContent).join('');
copy([...$$('.cooked li > a')].map(e => [child_text(e.parentNode).replace(/^\s*\-\s*/, '').trim(), e.innerText, e.href]).map(l => l.join("\t")).join("\n"))

And here’s using command line tools qrencode and imagemagick to build nifty QR codes, abusing the 30% redundancy in -l H qr codes. A 96x96 px logo works well.

#! /bin/bash
while IFS="," read -r model tool print induction lone url
if [ "$print" == "1"  ]; then
	filename=$(echo "$model $tool" | sed -r 's/\W+/_/g; s/(^\_)|(\_$)//g')
	[[ $model = "" ]] && label="$tool" || label="$model"
	[[ $induction = "" ]] && i_text="No Induction" || i_text="Induction Required"
	[[ $lone = "" ]] && l_text="Lone Work OK" || l_text="No Lone Work"

	qrencode -s 10 -l H -o "$filename" "$url"
	convert -size 570x770 xc:white -gravity Center "$filename" -composite "$logo" -composite -background none -font Helvetica -pointsize 60 \
	-gravity North caption:"$label" -geometry +0+25 -composite \
	-gravity South caption:"$i_text" -geometry +0+50 -composite \
	-gravity South caption:"$l_text" -geometry +0+0 -composite "$filename"
done < <(tail -n +2 tool_list.csv)

I will keep this comment updated as we complete the process.


SIGNAGE: I like the idea but make them easily to be changed/removed ex: screw on signage or stickers.

LINKS: Links can easily break which make QR Codes useless by time.

It’s better one QR PER AREA that leads to a menu site than one unique QR per tool/machine. This way has less maintenance, can be easily changed and the pages can be easily updated.

Our tool pages have been pretty static for a number of years. We can change the stickers if that changes.

1 Like

Are you familiar with the tool page?

1 Like

Ok fair enough if its kept maintained. Aesthetically wise can be a bit overwhelming too to have a lot of QR around. These are my suggestions but I’m curious how it will turned around.

Yeah, I discovered it after some visits when I asked if there’s some sort of inventory.

It’s part of the new discourse user guide and the new member guide as well :slight_smile: